Using student job funding to silence critics

The Liberals’ latest decision means summer employment is now a testing ground for ideological adhesion, obedience and purity

Using student job funding to silence criticsIt’s tough work to imagine two groups more radically different than the Canadian Council of Christian Charities and the gays rights network LGBTory. So when both join the rising chorus opposing changes to what should be among Ottawa’s most innocuous programs, it’s a signal something significant is going on. The Four Cs, as the council…

Sorry is more than just a word: show that you mean it

Contrition that’s merely on the lips changes nothing in the heart or, for that matter, around the waistline, within the workplace, inside troubled relationships

Sorry is more than just a word: show that you mean itIt’s traditional to head into a new year full of resolve fuelled by last year’s regret. Our commitment to renewed discipline, diets and dream-achieving over the coming 12 months is all too often driven by short-term overindulgence during Christmas festivities. More importantly, there’s a lingering sense of another year lost by not doing what we…

Stop treating universities like they’re retail outlets

Universities should bring young people into the disciplines and rigours of an examined life, into the habits of careful thinking

Stop treating universities like they’re retail outletsWhile at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), I got to know a history teacher who was a passionate and self-proclaimed Marxist. She loved to talk about the inequality and injustices that plagued the city, the province, the country and, well, the cosmos. I asked her one morning if she wouldn’t mind splitting…

Religious communities remain an integral part of a healthy society

If we’re not careful, we may recognize too late how critical they are in dealing with the ever-shifting social stresses of modern life

Religious communities remain an integral part of a healthy societyIf any one religious congregation disappeared from your city, would your community and city be better or worse off? There are Canadians who think it would be better if they did disappear, like old relics that have become burdensome, even embarrassing. The think-tank Cardus published the results of research that examined the question through The…

The soft tyranny of Quebec’s ongoing linguistic crossfire

Quebecers find themselves taking sides in language squabbles their better judgment says are irrelevant to life outside the political bubble

The soft tyranny of Quebec’s ongoing linguistic crossfireQuebec’s anglophones, francophones and allophones should all be on their smart phones demanding to know what in the name of Saint René Lévesque just happened in the National Assembly. “We are not a small people,” the late premier, Lévesque, famously said after his victorious Parti Quebecois stunned everyone on election night in 1976. “We are…

It’s the religious who tend most to favour diversity

Non-believers overwhelmingly believe every religious community in Canada, especially Muslims and evangelical Christians, hurt the country

It’s the religious who tend most to favour diversityThroughout autumn, the soup of our multicultural society has almost boiled over with questions about secularism and religion – of what is and isn’t allowed in contemporary public and common Canadian life. Efforts to relegate religious expression and thought to the margins have been ramped up. Those efforts, however, are out of step with broader…

Score one for religious freedom

Proposed amendments to Bill C-51 mean MPs understand that religious services and sacred spaces aren’t the same as any other public gathering

Score one for religious freedomSometimes Parliament works just the way the textbooks say it’s supposed to. Take for example the way the House of Commons justice committee dealt with Bill C-51, which aims to erase “outdated” parts of the Criminal Code. The committee held hearings. Government and opposition MPs listened to and questioned those who came to testify. Then…

Criminal Code changes put sacred spaces at risk

The federal government needs to affirm the importance of freedom of religion and conscience by preserving Section 176

Criminal Code changes put sacred spaces at riskIn June, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould tabled in the House of Commons omnibus legislation to amend the Criminal Code and Department of Justice Act. One of Bill C-51’s provisions should concern Canadians for what it proposes and says about the value we place on religious freedom and our understanding of sacred space. The bill would…

Kudos to Toronto, but independent schools still face discrimination

Subjecting parents choosing such schools for their children to extra costs is discriminatory

Kudos to Toronto, but independent schools still face discriminationBy Derek J. Allison Deani Neven Van Pelt and Beth Green Cardus You could call it a step forward in fairness for Canadians who send their kids to independent schools. The Toronto Board of Health recently recommended the extension of its student nutrition programs to qualified independent schools. That means more than 300 independent schools…

Toppling the misperceptions about home-schooling

Home-schooling successes show that parents and kids can be far more responsible for decisions about their education than imagined

Toppling the misperceptions about home-schoolingBy Deani Van Pelt and Beth Green Cardus Back-to-school means different things for many of Canada’s five million school-age children. For an increasing share of students in almost every province, it means something other than attending a neighbourhood public school. Home-schooling, while still small in overall uptake – Manitoba has the highest share at 1.5…